Central team warns about second Covid wave from Maharashtra

A central team has warned that Maharashtra is at the “beginning” of a second COVID-19 wave prompting the Union government to tell the worst-hit state on Tuesday to focus on strict containment strategies even as India recorded over 20,000 coronavirus cases for the sixth consecutive day.

The Centre, meanwhile, said the COVID-19 case trajectory is showing an “upward trend” after the viral infections continued to decline till February 2 with the peak of the epidemic curve being witnessed in mid-September last.

India recorded 24,492 new COVID-19 cases on Monday taking the infection tally past 1.14 crore, the Union Health Ministry said.

The total cases rose to 1,14,09,831, while the death toll increased to 1,58,856, with 131 fresh fatalities, the ministry data updated at 8 am on Monday showed.

Maharashtra reported 15,051 new coronavirus cases on Monday, taking the state’s caseload to 23,29,464, while 48 fatalities took the death toll to 52,909, the health department said in Mumbai.

Based on the report, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan shot off a letter to the Maharashtra government, stating “measures such as night curfews, weekend lockdowns etc. have very limited impact on containing/suppressing the transmission” and urged the state to focus on strict containment strategies, strengthening surveillance and augmenting testing.

In the letter to Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte, Bhushan said even though the health infrastructure is adequate as of now, the state should plan for a “worst-case scenario” with sufficient lead time.

“Maharashtra is in the beginning of the second wave of COVlD-19 pandemic,” according to the central team report.